I’ve written about how to shop an estate sale before, guaranteeing that you will net high quality furniture, art, and household items at bargain basement prices. I don’t understand why, when I attend an estate sale, it’s not like Back Friday. Perhaps people don’t have the time. Perhaps there is the stigma of buying something used something once owned by a person who now might be dead.
Or maybe people are intimidated by the rules. My husband being one. Here’s a funny story:
I read online about a beautiful estate being liquidated, and the accompanying photos confirmed what I overheard the liquidator telling a customer at the sale — that the homeowners were ‘ancien regime’, which I helpfully translated to the baffled customer as “very old money.” My husband went early and wrote down our names on the sign-in sheet at the front door, then left for an appointment. At 10 am, I showed up to a very large crowd swarming the gracious grounds. When our names were called. I went in, and told the liquidator that my husband would be entering shortly.
The house was even better than I expected. The garden ornaments, in particular, stood out. I snagged an antique stone rabbit planter, a beautiful art-deco metal birdbath, an unusual bench. These things were heavy. Where was my trusty partner?
I texted my husband. “Where are you?”
“I’m outside!” he texted back. “There’s no one to let me in and this crowd of ladies are giving me a hard time.”
I went to the front door, flung it open, and there he was, in his coat and tie, looking bashful and out of place. I knew better than to try and explain to the crowd around him that his name had already been called. There was a shortcut:
“Are you gonna help me or not?” I hollered at him.
He had to choose between being henpecked by the hens on the grass or the big hen at the door.
So, for those of you too intimidated by the arcane rules of estate sales, here are some of my picks for some great online vintage shopping. Do know that I can’t fathom the prices. Things are so much more affordable at an estate sale.
Chairish.com is an online consignment shop for furniture, decor, antiquities, rugs and more. There are 1,000 expertly curated arrivals daily.
Bonus Tip 1: You can make an offer on Chairish. If you see an item you need to have but the price isn’t in your shopping range, you can make an offer to the seller. If it’s accepted, you can purchase the decor for the price you want!
Bonus Tip 2: You can return items you buy from Chairish online.
Bonus Tip 3: You can search Chairish using your zipcode. That way, if you want something large, you can pick it up in person. Also, you do not have to buy it when you arrive, should it be in a different condition than expected.
One Kings Lane also has a fab collection of vintage. But the prices! Ouch!
Bonus Tip #1: If you see something on One Kings Lane that you love, use the item’s search terms and look on Ebay and Etsy for better prices.